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Story Pick: On searing steak

By Christian Davenport

Apparently everything I know about food is wrong. First, Jose Andres, the famed chef at Cafe Atlantico in Penn Quarter, tells Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes that meat is "overrated" and "slightly boring." The real star ingredients of the meal are fruits and vegetables. Steak, he says is juicy for the first bite, then dries out in your mouth.

Yeah right, I thought. Give me a ribeye, charcoal and a grill. Especially my grill, which has this really cool feature where you can raise or lower the coals. Raise them up for a nice, hot sear, then drop them down to let the meat cook slower. Then I saw Wylie Dufresne, the molecular gastronomist, saying that searing is the absolute worst thing to do with steak. "Anytime you get something super hot you begin to draw the moisture out of it," he says. That technique is out of "the dark ages."

Turns out, it's best to sear your meat after it's cooked. According this recent Wired blog post on the science of searing, it's our own saliva that accounts for much of the juiciness. We literally start to drool at the smell of a hot steak cooking. So maybe I'll tweak my cooking a little. But I'm still eating meat. I've yet to drool over peas.

By Christian Davenport  | October 22, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Story Picks  | Tags:  anderson cooper, cafe atlantico, jose andres, searing steak, wylie dufresne  
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